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County of Fairfax, Virginia

The McLean Community Center

6631 Old Dominion Dr., McLean VA 22101



Media Contact: Sabrina Anwah

Director of Communications

703-790-0123/TTY: 711



Thursday, May 4, 2017



Number 1 “To Do” at #McLean Day---Vote for Candidates Running for Seats on McLean Community Center’s 2017-2018 Governing Board

Three Adult, Two Teen Positions Open


McLean, VA—On Saturday, May 20, the McLean Community Center’s (MCC) annual Governing Board elections will take place at McLean Day 2017. Residents of Dranesville Small District 1A can cast their votes from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lewinsville Park. The voting tent will be located just inside the park’s entrance at 1659 Chain Bridge Rd.

The board sets policy and provides general oversight for all programs of the Center and its facilities, including the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse Teen Center. Three adult positions and two youth positions are open this year. The adult candidates who receive the three-highest vote counts will serve three-year (3) terms. Youth candidates, one from the McLean High School boundary area and one from the Langley High School boundary area, will serve one-year (1) terms. Youth candidates do not have to attend these schools to serve on the board.


Adult Candidate Personal Statements:

Cecilia Duran

One of the truly remarkable things about getting together with my old friends, no matter what directions our lives have taken us, is that we can agree that we loved growing up in McLean. There may have been hardships and challenges—growing up is like that—but McLean, and all its resources, made it culturally rich, invigorating and nurturing. The McLean Community Center, through its classes, events and sponsored programs, draws those attributes together and offers them to all of us. Aren’t we lucky?

Elizabeth John

I am a mother of three children under the age of five, who moved to McLean years ago so my family could be part of this incredible community and school system. I know firsthand the value MCC has brought to this community, and I’d like to play a central role in its advancement by strengthening and varying its programs for children and adults, and helping deliver the upcoming renovation. I’d love to use my experiences—as McLean resident, mother, engineer, buyer and management consultant—to pay it forward for all of us.

Raj Mehra

I am running for a seat on the McLean Community Center board because I care deeply about the community. My family has been residents of McLean since 2003 and my wife and daughters grew up in McLean. We are supporters of the McLean Project for the Arts, I have served for the last five years on the board of the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce and when my children were younger, I was a coach for McLean Youth Soccer and McLean basketball. The charm of McLean is what I treasure most, and I want to help preserve this.

Brittany R. Oates

I am excited by the prospect of giving back to our beautiful community and serving on MCC’s Board of Directors. I hope to both maintain and improve the Center’s diverse activities, events and programs. As the very heart of our neighborhood, the Center inspires all of our families. For our three children, it’s made McLean a marvelous place to grow up, explore and spread their wings. I want to continue to support its tradition of excellence and ensure that the MCC remains a beacon of our community that serves all of our residents. I respectfully ask for your vote!

Alicia Plerhoples

I am an educator, nonprofit lawyer, wife and mother. My family regularly visits the McLean Community Center, where my daughters take dance classes and we attend performances at The Alden. I would like to contribute my legal expertise to the Governing Board. I am a law professor at Georgetown Law, where I teach an experiential course. My students and I represent small businesses and nonprofits (including arts and community nonprofits) on legal issues, such as contracts, financing, leasing, employment law, licensing and permitting. If elected, I will use my expertise to steward the successful completion of the Community Center renovation.

Julie Waters

As a board member, I’ll work hard to continue growing our community. I am an attorney, and served in the active Army for 12 years. When I left active service, my husband and I were thrilled to find McLean and make it our long-term home. In the Army, I gained experience in leadership, criminal and administrative law and working with a team. I now stay home with our two children during the day, and serve in the Army Reserve. I would love to give back by representing the citizens of McLean in making MCC an even better resource for everyone.


Youth Candidate Personal Statements:

 Langley High School Boundary Area Candidates

 Alex Camus

I am running for the Board because I care about this community. I have spent the last seven years in McLean, and I am convinced of our area’s responsibility to reach out to and provide for our residents. I serve on a leadership team at my church, and try to lead by example when I run for track or play in the band at Langley. My hope as a candidate for the MCC Governing Board is that I can improve upon the opportunities brought forth to McLean residents in any way possible.

Brian Kim

Hello, my name is Brian and I am a student at Langley High School. I am running for a position on the Governing Board to become an active member of my community. I have had previous experiences as a campaign organizer at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee and as an intern and advisor for the medical board at Sejong Geriatric Hospital. At Langley, I am a member of the Debate Team and Varsity Golf Team. Overall, I am not only interested in working with professionals and other students but also eager to participate in the administration of McLean.


McLean High School Boundary Area Candidates

Caroline Brunner

I’m a junior attending McLean High School and am proud to live in this community. I’m a student leader in marching and symphonic band, a track and field runner and a Girl Scout completing my Gold Award. I’d like to serve on the board to provide a youth perspective on the policies the board sets, keeping McLean and Langley kids’ best interests in mind. I’ve used the community center for classes, acted in plays at The Alden and attended events at MCC. Vote for me and I will help to make it a better place for McLean kids and teens!

Nolan Fitzsimmons

My desire to serve on the MCC Board comes from wanting to help our community as much as possible. My community involvement includes volunteering for three years to help run chess clubs at Colvin Run Elementary School and Kent Garden ES; volunteering for Chesterbrook Assisted Living Home; and starting/running the McLean HS Chess Club. I earned the Presidential Gold Medal for Volunteering and am pursing The Congressional Award. I’m a MHS Cross Country member and have a black belt in Taekwondo. Using the skills/experience I gained at starting the MHS Chess Club, I hope to start new MCC programs.

Nikhil Jivan

I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve on the Governing Board for McLean. I was born in Virginia and have lived in McLean since 2004. I currently go to Mclean High School and I've attended Franklin Sherman Elementary, Haycock Elementary and Longfellow Middle School. I read that the McLean Community Center sets policies, approves budgets and provides general oversight for Center programs and facilities. I am truly interested in learning how all that is done and developing my leadership skills. I assure you that I will prove a sincere, honest and reliable team member if selected.

Emily Simons

I have had the pleasure of growing up in this wonderfully supportive and friendly community, and have been a beneficiary of the shows, events and exhibitions that the McLean Community Center has so generously provided. Now, I feel that it is my time to give back. As a musician, I know firsthand the positive effects that the arts have on our community. I want to make sure that throughout the Ingleside renovation, the McLean Community Center institution will continue to educate, entertain and inspire us. It would be an honor to provide a youth perspective on the Board.

Write-in Candidates are allowed. Write-in candidates must receive at least 10 votes from 10 residents of the Center’s tax district to have their votes counted. For youth write-in candidates, the 10 votes must come from teens who live within the same high school boundary area as the candidate.


Absentee ballots are available. A resident may request an absentee ballot package by phone (703-790-0123, TTY: 711) or email (elections@mcleancenter.org), or may pick one up at three of MCC’s sites: Administrative Offices, at 6631 Old Dominion Dr.; Class Program/Registration Office, at 6645 Old Dominion Dr.; or The Old Firehouse Teen Center, 1440 Chain Bridge Rd. Completed absentee voting affidavits and ballots must be received at one of the three sites by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17. For more information on the MCC Governing Board Elections, call the Center at 703-790-0123/TTY: 711 or visit: http://ow.ly/PWtI30arqDG.

# # # The McLean Community Center, an agency of Fairfax County Government, is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services and activities. We will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To request special accommodations, call the Center 14 working days in advance of the event.

To request this information in an alternate format, call 711.